World Golf Championships-Cadillac Championship: Posted a final-round, 6-under 66 to finish T10 at the World Golf Championships-Cadillac Championship, his first top-10 of the season and best showing since a T4 at the 2010 U.S. Open. It marked the 11th time in as many starts that he has finished with a top-10 at the event and the eighth time in as many starts inside the top 10 at the TPC Blue Monster at Doral. The showing represented his best round on TOUR since a second-round, 6-under 65 at the 2010 Deutsche Bank Championship. Played the first three rounds with Phil Mickelson, the first time the two have been paired together for three rounds in a PGA TOUR-sanctioned event. The two have had 28 official pairings on TOUR and 29 counting the 2009 World Golf Championships-HSBC Champions.
World Golf Championships-Mexico Championship: Collected his first top-10 of the season with a T10 at the World Golf Championships-Mexico Championship. Marked his 13th career top-10 finish in the event and 34th in World Golf Championships events. Second-round 66 at Club de Golf Chapultepec highlighted his competitive debut in Mexico. Four-putted the par-5 15th green and three-putted the par-4 16th green in the third round, marking the first time in his career he had four-putted and three-putted in back-to-back holes, a stretch of 22,640 holes in stroke-play events before reaching the par-5 15th in the third round.
Masters Tournament: Claimed fourth Masters title at age 29 years, 3 months and 10 days with sudden-death playoff victory over Chris DiMarco. Tied Arnold Palmer for second-most Masters victories, with four, two behind Jack Nicklaus. Recovered from a first-round 2-over-par 74 and took the 54-hole lead by three over DiMarco with rounds of 66-65. During that stretch of the third round, posted seven straight birdies (Nos. 7-13), matching Steve Pate's 1999 record birdie streak at Augusta National. Final round included chip-in on par-3 16th hole from behind the green that extended lead to two strokes and bogeys on two closing holes for a 1-under-par 71, tied with DiMarco at 12-under-par 276 total. Rolled in 15-foot birdie putt on first playoff hole to earn green jacket and re-claim the No. 1 position in the Official World Golf Ranking.
PGA Championship: Finished second at the PGA Championship, and for the first time in his career (was 14-0), lost a third-round lead in a major to winner Y.E. Yang at Hazeltine National. Led after each of the first three rounds, including by two entering the final round, but Yang chipped in for eagle on the 14th hole to take the lead and then made birdie on the 18th hole to shoot 70 and win by three. His final-round 75 was his worst score in the final round of a major when he was in the last group.
Woods returned to competition in April at the 2010 Masters, where he finished tied for fourth place.[85] He followed the Masters with poor showings at the Quail Hollow Championship and the Players Championship, where he withdrew in the fourth round, citing injury.[86] Shortly afterward, Hank Haney, Woods' coach since 2003, resigned the position. In August, Woods hired Sean Foley as Haney's replacement. The rest of the season went badly for Woods, who failed to win a single event for the first time since turning professional, while nevertheless finishing the season ranked No. 2 in the world.
Surgery: Pulled out of next two PGA TOUR starts, the Genesis Open and The Honda Classic. Released statement: "My doctors have advised me not to play the next two weeks, to continue my treatment and to let my back calm down. This is not what I was hoping for or expecting. I am extremely disappointed to miss the Genesis Open, a tournament that benefits my foundation, and The Honda Classic, my hometown event. I would like to thank Genesis for their support, and I know we will have an outstanding week." In April, announced on his website he had undergone further back surgery. The operation was performed by Dr. Richard Guyer of the Center for Disc Replacement at the Texas Back Institute.
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